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Choma Travel Blog

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Hatching crocodiles at a croc farm near Lake Kariba, Zambia

Muribwangi! How is everyone? I am back in Livingstone, after spending a few days at a place called Siansowa, at Lake Kariba (a man-made lake that straddles Zambia and Zimbabwe). I’d planned to stay for just two days, but ended up staying an extra day because I was hooked on helping the crocodile farm next door hatch crocodile eggs! For those of you who know me, it’s probably no surprise that I was at the farm every day!

 

Other than hatch crocodile eggs, I did lots of chilling out and I updated my travel diary, which I hadn’t written in for about two weeks. I went on a “sunset cruise”, but it was nothing like the cruise I did in Chobe (Botswana). This was a small tin boat, and we couldn’t get as close to animals as we did in Chobe. I did see eland, though, which I hadn’t seen before.

A hatching croc, Zambia

 

I saw a hippo, which the “guide” (in quotation marks because he’s not very experienced) insisted was a rock. But two of us saw it move... and, needless to say, rocks don’t move on their own. Anyway, I had a tour of the crocodile farm as well, which was awesome. The crocodiles in the breeding dams were absolute monsters size-wise; I’ve never seen such big crocodiles so close! And I’ve never seen such big crocodiles moving so fast. The staff fed the crocodiles, and watching them eat was like watching dinosaurs eat dinner!

 

I was shown some hatchlings emerging from their eggs too. I was so taken by the hatchlings that I asked if I could help hatch them the next day. It was such a cool experience that I stayed an extra day. There is nothing like peeling back a shell and seeing something open its eyes for the very first time. It was quite special, and such a unique experience; one that I doubt many would be able to do anywhere else, which is why I stayed the extra day.

 

Lake Kariba is beautiful.

Lots of baby crocs! Zambia
The water in Africa is cobalt blue. Out of all the places I’ve been, I’ve never seen water as blue as it is here in Africa. The mountains beyond the lake are blue as well... in fact, they’re just as blue as the Blue Mountains in Australia!

 

Last night a few of us stayed up to two o’clock in the morning. We watched the moon rise and shine over the water. Because the moon was full, it looked like the sun. But there was something different about it - it was white and glowing. It cast a light over water that was so still. I have seen some of the most beautiful things in Africa; I’m so lucky to be here!

 

I went up to Lake Kariba with a really nice English family. Jim, the father, lives in Choma, which is a little town between Livingstone and Lusaka (Zambia’s capital).

Me and the little crocs; Zambia
Beryl (the mother), Jason (the son) and Keith (the cousin) came to Zambia to visit Jim, so it was sort of like a family reunion in Africa; quite special! At times I felt like I was intruding, but they were such a nice family that those moments were few and far between.

 

Siansowa seemed like a secret corner of the world. People who worked there kept asking how I found out about the place. I guess it is a little bit out of the way. I enjoyed the drive, though. We went past a lot of villages.

 

I’m still unsure about how most locals feel about foreigners. Jason lived in Zambia until he was 12 years old and speaks Nyanga (sorry, don’t know how to spell it) and a bit of Tonga, which are the local languages here. Most locals wave and smile at us, but when I asked Jason what they were saying to each other, he said they weren’t being very complimentary.

Another hatching croc; zambia
Also, when I was walking to the crocodile farm with Chris (our “guide”), I saw a little kid giving us the finger... so, it’s difficult to tell how friendly the locals really are.

 

That’s all for now, I suppose! Now, I am back at the lovely Jollyboys Backpacker’s. I’m wondering if Mosi-O-Tunya (“the smoke that thunders”) National Park will be open tonight for the lunar rainbow; that would be cool to see. Tomorrow, I’ll try to do a few things that I wanted to do before I leave Zambia: visit a village, stock up at the supermarket, get my bus tickets, change money, etc. I’m going to try uploading a few photos now, I hope it works - enjoy!

 

Oh! And quickly; off topic, something I remembered about Zimbabwe that’s worth mentioning is that beer is cheaper than water! Yes, that’s right. Now don’t all come here at once.

 

Miss you all!

 

Love, Chels

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Hatching crocodiles at a croc farm…
Hatching crocodiles at a croc far…
A hatching croc, Zambia
A hatching croc, Zambia
Lots of baby crocs! Zambia
Lots of baby crocs! Zambia
Me and the little crocs; Zambia
Me and the little crocs; Zambia
Another hatching croc; zambia
Another hatching croc; zambia
Another hatching croc, opening its…
Another hatching croc, opening it…
Lake Kariba, Zambia
Lake Kariba, Zambia
Lake Kariba, Zambia
Lake Kariba, Zambia
Adult Nile crocodiles in a breedin…
Adult Nile crocodiles in a breedi…
Adult Nile crocodiles in a breedin…
Adult Nile crocodiles in a breedi…
Adult Nile crocodiles in a breedin…
Adult Nile crocodiles in a breedi…
Lake Kariba, Zambia
Lake Kariba, Zambia
Croc farm near Lake Kariba, Zambia
Croc farm near Lake Kariba, Zambia
Lake Kariba, Zambia
Lake Kariba, Zambia
Lake Kariba, Zambia
Lake Kariba, Zambia
Choma
photo by: Chelsea